Category Archives: Father Carlos Urrutigoity

South America has become a safe haven for the Catholic Church’s alleged child molesters. The Vatican has no comment.


South America has become a safe haven for the Catholic Church’s alleged child molesters. The Vatican has no comment.

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Pope Francis Defies UN on Torturing Children


Pope Francis Defies UN on Torturing Children

Jun 07, 2015 4:55am PDT by Betty Clermont

From the link: http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/07/1391284/-Pope-Francis-Defies-UN-on-Torturing-Children

The UN Committee against Torture “found that the widespread sexual violence within the Catholic Church amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” After Vatican officials were called to Geneva in May 2014 to respond to tough questions like why the pope believed his responsibility for protecting children against torture only applied on Vatican property, the committee issued its report.

The members “ordered the Vatican to hand over files containing details of clerical sexual abuse allegations to police forces around the world, … to use its authority over the Roman Catholic Church worldwide to ensure all allegations of clerical abuse are passed on to the secular authorities and to impose ‘meaningful sanctions’ on any Church officials who fail to do so.” With the exception of a couple of staged PR events, the pope has refused to take any of these measures.

The Vatican had issued an “Initial Report” preparatory to the hearing. “Nowhere in the Holy See’s [the name of the Church’s global government] Initial Report under the Convention does it make any mention of the widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence committed by Catholic clergy against hundreds of thousands of children and vulnerable adults around the world. There is no mention of acts that have resulted in an astonishing and incalculable amount of harm around the world – profound and lasting physical and mental suffering – with little to no accountability and access to redress … [T]he Vatican has consistently minimized the harm caused by the actions of the clergy, through both the direct acts of sexual violence and Church officials’ actions which follow, such as cover-ups and victim-blaming. … The Holy See’s Initial Report to this Committee is itself evidence of the minimization of these offenses and the resulting harm.”

The Committee against Torture report came “after senior officials sought to distance the Vatican legally from the wider Church … saying priests were not legally tied to the Vatican but fell under national jurisdictions. But the committee insisted that officials of the Holy See – including the pope’s representatives around the world and their aides – have a responsibility to monitor the behavior of all under their ‘effective control.’”

The committee also urged a “prompt and impartial” investigation in the case of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the pope’s nuncio (ambassador) to the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski solicited sex for money from Santo Domingo’s poorest boys. “We learned from the children that Wesolowski took pictures of them while they were masturbating. Oral sex was performed,” Nuria Piera, an investigative journalist in the Dominican Republic, said. “He abused that poverty and used that mechanism to approach children and take advantage of them for years,” according to Yeni Berenice Reynoso, National District prosecutor.

A dossier accusing Wesolowski of sex abuse of minors was sent to Pope Francis “sometime in July” 2013 by Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez. The pope found the information credible enough to dismiss Wesolowski on August 21 via confidential letter. But the pope never reported Wesolowski to civil authorities nor made the information public.

All prelates should make credible allegations public as a warning to avoid contact with the accused. Also, any other victims should be encouraged to contact a law enforcement agency perhaps making the investigation easier, apprehension and prosecution more certain. The group, Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), defines failure to take these steps as a “cover up.”

Wesolowski left the country before a local TV program broadcast an exposé on August 31. It was reported in January 2014 that Wesolowski “is now thought to be living in Rome and is protected from extradition by diplomatic immunity.” “For me it was a surprise to see Wesolowski walking along Via della Scrofa in Rome,” Santo Domingo Auxiliary Bishop Víctor Masalles tweeted on June 24, 2014.

Embarrassed, the Vatican announced on June 27 that Wesolowski had been laicized (defrocked) “in the past few days … Measures will be taken so he is in a precise restricted location, without any freedom of movement,” said Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, without specifying how this would be accomplished. The press reported this as proof of the pope’s “zero tolerance” for child sex abuse.

Defrocking means a cleric is fired without being reported to the police. The most serious punishment available to the pope is excommunication. Pope Francis excommunicated an Australian priest for supporting women’s ordination and same sex marriage. He also excommunicated the leaders of the lay group, We Are Church, for celebrating mass in their home.

The New York Times had an article about Wesolowski on its August 24, 2014, front page including statements that Dominican officials would prosecute him if it were not for the former ambassador’s diplomatic immunity. The next morning Lombardi made an announcement that Wesolowski did not have immunity and could be extradited by the Dominican Republic. Dominican officials, however, had expressed regret for the past year that “there’s no extradition treaty between the Vatican and the Dominican Republic. … The ideal thing would’ve been and our desire is that he be tried here, but the law forbids us.”

On September 25, Lombardi said Wesolowski had been put under house arrest inside the Vatican City State “because the Polish prelate represented a flight risk and because Vatican prosecutors feared he might tamper with evidence.”

The next day, the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Serra reported that Wesolowski was arrested by order of the pope because “there was a serious risk that the nuncio would be arrested on Italian territory at the request of the Dominican authorities and then extradited.” Wesolowski had more than 100,000 computer files of pornography. “Some were downloaded from the internet and others the victims themselves were forced to take. The prelate stored part of this chamber of horrors on his own laptop. The material, which is classified by type, shows dozens of young girls engaged in sexual activities but the preference is for males. Images show youngsters aged between 13 and 17 being humiliated for the camera, filmed naked and forced to have sexual relations with each other or with adults. … Wesolowski is suspected of belonging to an international network that extends well beyond what has emerged so far.”

Pope Francis allowed his prelate 15 months freedom to commit crimes involving child pornography which sometimes involves their tortuous death – something to think about the next time the pope speaks out against the sex trafficking of children.

November 22, 2014: Wesolowski was seen “walking quietly inside the Vatican City…in apparent freedom” and is presumed to still live there under house arrest.

After almost two years, Wesolowski’s trial has not yet begun.

The Pope’s Enduring Contempt for Children

People who have been sexually abused as children live shorter lives than those who have not been abused according to expert testimony. They have a life expectancy about 10 to 20 years shorter than those who have not.
•    Trauma produced both physical and psychological damage, affecting children’s development, including their personalities and sense of self.
•    Children’s brains and immune systems were also affected, making them more prone to a range of auto-immune diseases.
•    They also often have unhealthy lifestyles so they’re prone to substance abuse and poverty and unemployment.
•    There was also a strong link between child abuse and suicide, which could be influenced by a variety of factors including depression and substance abuse, which exacerbated negative thoughts.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio “refused to meet with victims, and he stayed largely silent on the issue of clergy sex abuse, except to issue a surprising denial that he had ever handled an abusive priest. His only known action was to commission a behind-the-scenes report to judges that sought exoneration of a criminally convicted priest by impugning the credibility of the priest’s victims.” BishopAccoutability.org, a group dedicated to documenting the Catholic sex abuse crisis, showed Bergoglio’s involvement in five specific cases.

One month to the day after his election, Pope Francis appointed a group of cardinals, now referred to as his “C9”, to be his closest advisors.

Cardinal George Pell had been making headlines in Australia for decades regarding the sex abuse scandal. When asked what he thought was the root cause, Pell replied, “it’s obviously connected with the problem of homosexuality.” As archbishop and creator of the “Melbourne Response,” a system “designed to control the victims and protect the Church … Pell intended to minimize the crimes, conceal the truth, manipulate and intimidate the victims. … Some relatives of abused children have called the cardinal a ‘sociopath.’”

The John Ellis case “was all about deterrence.” Ellis sued Pell and the trustees of the Sydney archdiocese in 2006 over abuse he suffered as an altar boy. Pell spent more than $1m fighting Ellis despite him asking for just a tenth of that amount in settlement, put him through “distressing and unnecessary cross-examination” and threatened him with legal costs. Pell’s “Ellis Defense” is “an exemplar of litigation going wrong, causing further trauma for a victim of abuse.”

Pell personally knows hundreds of the people involved – the victims and their families as well as the abusers. … He was a very senior authority in the Catholic Church when the court cases began in the 1990s and the top Catholic figure in Australia until he went to Rome. … [H]e was the leader of a system that protected the guilty and failed innocent people. … [H]e was the man in charge during many years of this scandal. Therefore, he can be held accountable and responsible for it.”

Pope Francis also chose Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa as a close adviser. Errazuriz had made national headlines for protecting Fr. Fernando Karadima, the “worst scandal” of the Chilean Church. “Power is the true point of the case. The [sexual abuses against children] were not possible without a network of political, social and religious power working for 50 years,” stated political analyst Ascanio Cavallo, Dean of the Journalism School of the Adolfo Ibáñez University.Church officials were warned as early as 1984 about Karadima’s “improper conduct.”  The first known reports to reach Errazuriz were in 2003. In 2006, a priest appointed by Errázuriz to investigate the claims reported to the cardinal that he believed “the accusers to be credible.”

According to court testimony in a 2011 civil complaint filed against Karadima, Church officials, including Errázuriz, tried to shame accusers into dropping claims, refused to meet with them and failed to carry out formal investigations for years. A judge dismissed the criminal case against Karadima in November 2011 because the statute of limitations had expired but also determined that the allegations were “truthful and reliable.”

When Pope Francis, who during the above period was cardinal primate of the neighboring Argentina, appointed Errázuriz to his C9, one of the claimants called it “a shame and a disgrace.” On September 15, 2013, Errázuriz said that the archdiocese had no responsibility for their “tremendous pain.”

On July 1, 2013, the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sent a request to the pope for “detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers or nun” for the past fifteen years and set November 1 as a deadline for a reply. The questions were sent as preparation for a public hearing scheduled for January.

As one of the signatories to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Church was fifteen years late in delivering a report describing whether it had acted to “protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence” as the convention requires. Additionally, the questionnaire sought to establish whether “perpetrators of sexual crimes” were allowed to remain in contact with children, what legal action was taken against them and whether reporting of suspected abuse was mandatory. It also included queries about support for victims, and any incidents where complainants were silenced.

By issuing its questions, the Geneva-based CRC brushed aside a Vatican warning that it might pull out of the Convention on the Rights of the Child if pushed too hard on the issue. In a report of its own posted on the UN website last October, the Holy See reminded the CRC of reservations on legal jurisdiction and other issues it made when it signed the global pact. It said any new “interpretation” would give it grounds “for terminating or withdrawing” from the treaty.

Within weeks of his election, Pope Francis had ordered that the Vatican “continue along the lines set by Benedict XVI” in handling torturing children. But on July 11, 2013, the pontiff enacted a civil law criminalizing leaks of Vatican information to the press and sexual violence against children, including child pornography. The crimes were punishable by up to eight and twelve years in prison, respectively. The law was applicable inside the Vatican City State and for employees of the Holy See in its extraterritorial properties including embassies. In hindsight, one could question if the pope was preparing for a Vatican civil trial against Wesolowski as justification to keep him out of a foreign prison.The November 1 deadline for a response to the CRC came and went.

Pope Francis responded to the CRC on December 4 by stating that it was not the practice of his government to “disclose information on specific cases unless requested to do so by another country as part of legal proceedings” and “that the Vatican can provide information only about known and alleged child sex crimes that have happened on Vatican property.”

A rarity, Francis’ response was criticized. The next day, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley stated that the pope would create a special Commission for the Protection of Minors with no authority other than to advise him on ways to address the subject.

On January 16, 2014, the day the CRC hearings were to begin in Geneva, Pope Francis again showed his contempt for his Church’s victims by concelebrating mass, followed by a private meeting, with Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles. The Washington Post (among others) had condemned Mahony for protecting known abusers, stating he’s “lucky not to be in prison” and that “his continued prominence reflects the culture of impunity in the Catholic Church a decade after its tolerance and complicity in the abuse of children was exposed.” After his private meeting with the pope, Mahony blogged “the topic of scandal never came up.”

The same day, Lombardi said the Church had developed “a series of initiatives and directives” that are “extremely helpful” to other communities. He also criticized the assumption that bishops or religious superiors act “as representatives or delegates of the Pope.” He said this belief is “utterly without foundation.” Rather, civil authorities in countries that have signed the UN convention are directly responsible for its implementation and for the enforcement of laws that protect children.

The UN panel asked Vatican representatives for responses to the questions they had sent in July. While the American media trumpeted a statement made by one of the Vatican officials that he “gets it,” the foreign press was not as fawning:
Germany’s Deutsche Welle: Vatican response ‘fails smell test for ordinary people’
Venezuela’s El Nacional: The Vatican at the UN today dodged providing detailed information on issues relating to sexual abuse of minors by clergy in a rhetorical exercise in which it attempts to demonstrate determination to prevent new offenses.
Spain’s El Pais: The Vatican still does not take responsibility for sexual abuse

BishopAccountability.org noted five significant moments of the hearing:
•    For the first time, the Vatican had to admit publicly that it still does not require the reporting of child sex crimes to civil authorities. Nor does it take this step when priests are defrocked.
•    The Holy See still refused to provide the data requested on July 1.
•    The Vatican believes that it is the obligation of the individual perpetrator, not the Church, to compensate victims.
•    Religious orders, which comprise one third to one half of the world’s Catholic clerics, still are not being compelled by the Holy See to create abuse policies. (Pope Benedict XVI ordered the world’s bishops to do this in 2011. The order was widely ignored, even by the cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.)

Vatican delegate to the UN, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, responded in an interview: “At the same time we have to keep in mind that even though there are so many millions, forty million cases of abuse a year regarding children, unfortunately some cases affect also Church personnel.” Tomasi also suggested that the UN committee may have been influenced by “Some NGOs that support homosexuality, same-sex marriage and other issues probably presented their own views and ended up reinforcing [the committee’s] line of thought in some way.”

On March 5, 2014, Pope Francis stated that, as regards the sexual torture of children, “The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also show clearly that the great majority of the abuses come from the family environment and from people who are close. The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that moved with transparency and responsibility. No one else did as much. And yet, the Church is the only one being attacked.”

Some negative press coverage ensued. So on March 7, Lombardi sent an email to the Associated Press reminding the media that the sex abuse commission remained a priority for the pope.

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, praised the work of both UN committees. “We do not share any enthusiasm, however, for the Vatican’s defrocking of thousands of abusing clerics resulting in them being released into the labor market without being subjected to secular justice, and the resultant criminal record. This will almost certainly put other children at risk from former priests reoffending.”

The United Nations Committees on the Rights of the Child and on Torture, requested the Holy See to abolish the pontifical secret for allegations of child sexual abuse, and to order through canon law mandatory reporting to the civil authority. In September 2014, Pope Francis rejected that request on the grounds that mandatory reporting would interfere with the sovereignty of independent States. Mandatory reporting would only interfere with such sovereignty if a State law prohibited reporting of clergy sex abuse of children to the police. No such State exists. But the Vatican … illustrates its very real intention to interfere in the sovereignty of independent States by prohibiting reporting once canonical proceedings start, even when the civil law requires reporting. …
The de facto privilege of clergy by the use of secrecy, rendering clergy immune to civil prosecution for child sex abuse, was set up in 1922 by Pope Pius XI, and was continued and expanded by five of his successors. Regrettably, it seems that Pope Francis gives every indication of adding himself to the list as the seventh pope.

Barros and FinnIn January 2015, the pope appointed Juan Barros Madrid, formerly Military Bishop of Chile, as bishop of Osorno, Chile. Within a month, 1,300 lay Catholics, nearly half of Chile’s Parliament and thirty priests in the diocese signed a letter demanding that the pope rescind the appointment. Victims of Karadima said Barros was present when they were molested, did nothing to stop him and later covered up for Karadima.

“’Put your head on my chest. Take the little tongue,’ said Karadima. Thus began a long journey of torture and suffering for Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew … He denounced the ‘hypocrisy and simulation of Pope Francis’ on the ‘zero tolerance’ for pedophile priests: ‘The pope says good things, but does the opposite for victims to have access to civil justice. We are re-victimized while he rewards the abusers and abettors naming them cardinals and bishops.’”

The pope’s nuncio to Chile expressed support for Barros. President of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Ezzati, said that “the Holy Father has chosen a pastor for the Church of Osorno and we, as Catholics, are in communion with the pope.”

Barros was installed as bishop on March 21 “amid riot police and shouting protesters … hundreds of churchgoers dressed in the black of mourning denounced Barros.” Since then, Barros “has had to sneak out of back exits, call on riot police to shepherd him from the city’s cathedral and coordinate movements with bodyguards and police canine units.”

In an interview published March 26, the Archbishop of Concepcion disclosed the details of a meeting he had with Pope Francis on March 6. “Archbishop Chomali explained that he gave Pope Francis a ‘document with detailed information on the consequences of the appointment he had made. All the documentation that I cited came to him, whether through the nunciature or the Chilean embassy to the Holy See. He was very much up to date on Bishop Barros’ situation, and in fact a few days prior he had spoken with him. With firmness and much conviction he told me that he had analyzed all the past records and that there was no objective reason that Bishop Barros should not be installed as diocesan bishop.’”

“Pope Francis has to withdraw this appointment or I and others may find it impossible to stay on the commission,” said Peter Saunders who was sexually abused as a child in London by two Catholic priests and the headmaster of his Catholic primary school and is a member of pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Saunders threat was published on March 27, two days before Palm Sunday when the Church begins a series of special liturgies culminating on Easter. If carried out, it would have been a PR disaster for the pope.

Cardinal O’Malley met with members of the commission the week after Easter – April 12. Bishop Joseph Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., found guilty in 2012 of failure to report suspected child abuse, was called to Rome for an April 14 meeting with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

A priest under Finn’s supervision was sentenced to fifty years in prison for producing hundreds of pornographic photos, using his own parishioners as victims, some under the age of three. And for years prior, Finn not only refused to look into or even acknowledge any of the many complaints about this priest’s behavior, some of which came directly from the principal of the school that most of the victims attended, he also stonewalled once the child porn came to light, failed to inform or warn any of the families of the victims, gave the priest continued access to children, was complicit in the destruction of evidence, spent $1.4 million of diocesan money defending himself against two misdemeanor charges in court, only alerted the police when forced to, and, in short, put children at risk and failed to get the offending priest any serious help or counseling.

“Even if Finn is removed, that’s no tremendous sign of progress because there are literally hundreds of Catholic officials around the world still on the job, who have done what Finn did,” SNAP director, David Clohessy, had said earlier.Finn’s resignation was announced April 21. Although this occurred 30 months after Finn’s conviction, 25 months into this pontificate and Finn remains a bishop still carrying out his episcopal functions, members of the commission and the media were appeased about Barros’ promotion.

Pell and Barros

Before Pope Francis chose him to be one of his closest advisers and promoted him as head of Vatican finance, Cardinal George Pell had made national headlines during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings which covered Pell’s response as archbishop of Melbourne and then Sydney. In February 2015, the Royal Commission – the highest form of investigation in Australia – found that Pell placed the Church’s financial interests above his obligation to victims of childhood sexual abuse as part of an aggressive legal strategy to protect the assets of the Sydney archdiocese.

Currently, the Royal Commission is holding hearings about what transpired in Ballarat where Pell had been ordained and served until 1987. “Scores of children were abused by Catholic clergy from the 1960s to the 1980s. Many victims in Ballarat and elsewhere in Victoria state committed suicide, in one of the worst clusters of clerical abuse trauma in the world.”

•    Timothy Green said when he was 12 or 13 he told Pell in 1974 that Brother Edward Dowlan was abusing boys at St Patrick’s College. “Father Pell said `don’t be ridiculous’ and walked out.”
•    A victim said another priest walked in while Fr. Gerald Ridsdale was raping her at the Ballarat East presbytery and did nothing. Ridsdale says he doesn’t know who the priest was. Pell and one other priest lived in the same house with Ridsdale at the time.
•    Pell was at a 1982 meeting of the College of Consultors which discussed moving Ridsdale from the Mortlake parish, but he says no claims of abuse were raised at the meeting. Ridsdale was convicted of more than 140 offenses of child sexual abuse and indecent assault charges against children as young as four years old between 1993 and 2013.
•    David Ridsdale accused Pell of trying to bribe him in 1993 after being abused by his uncle, Fr. Ridsdale. Pell allegedly asked him: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet.”

More than 55,000 people signed a petition last month addressed to Pope Francis calling for Pell to return to Australia to answer questions from the Royal Commission concerning these current allegations.

Peter Saunders, speaking on Australia’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday, May 31, said of Pell: “He has a catalog of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go as far as to say, this lack of care. He is making a mockery of the papal commission (into child abuse), of the pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors.” He thought that Pell should be dismissed.

Before the program had even aired (after the network released promotional material), Pell issued statements calling Saunders’s comments “false”, “misleading” and “outrageous”, and said he would consult legal advisers. On Monday, Lombardi said that “Mr. Saunders spoke for himself and not for the commission which does not investigate or judge individual cases.” Australia’s Catholic archbishops made a statement that Pell is a man of integrity.

Meanwhile, “retired Bishop Juan Luis Ysem of Ancud has called on Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno to resign before he is asked to leave by Pope Francis.”

So, again it looks like a prelate will “resign” (this time Barros) and will members of the sex abuse commission and the press be appeased about the current allegations against Pell?

If you’re not feeling mollified and want to help, you can donate to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) or BishopAccountability.org which operates the Abuse Tracker website from which most of the above information was obtained.

(Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009))

APPENDIX

The UN Committees found child sexual offenders were still in contact with children, Church officials were not cooperating with law enforcement authorities, the pope’s representatives and their aides were not monitoring the behavior of those under their “effective control” and that there was no accountability for hierarchs.

Given that sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, “with 68% still being left unreported,” and that it can take 20, 30, even 40 years for victims to fully recall the details of these excruciating crimes,  consider the following information to be only a sampling of what is currently still taking place in the Catholic Church.

Failing to protect children

Similar to Wesolowski, Pope Francis dismissed Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo of Ayacucho, Peru, via letter in May 2013 without notifying the public or the police. On August 21,  2013, a Spanish lawyer wrote in his blog that the Vatican “accepted the resignation” of Miranda for “having sex with minors and adults, too” which had been “solicited in confession.” Miranda is still at large.

June 2015: “Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.”

February 2015: “Philippine Bishop Arturo Mandin Bastes right now is keeping a known abuser, Fr. Arwyn N. Diesta, in ministry.”

February 2015: “Some Catholic religious orders are still failing to adequately protect children against sex abuse 20 years after the scale of the problem became evident [in Ireland] according to a review by the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church … In one case, a priest who admitted accessing child porn was still in ministry and was an acting prior with “ambitions to continue or undertake a leadership position within the order”, according to the review.”  “Religious orders, which comprise one third to one half of the world’s Catholic clerics, still are not being compelled by the pope to create abuse policies.”

January 2015: Gian Piero Milano, whose official title is Vatican Promoter of Justice, “reported two cases of possession of child pornography within its own walls last year.” A Vatican spokesman said one of them involved Jozef Wesolowski.” So after his arrest, Wesolowski “continued to possess child pornography” while inside the Vatican City State? Who else possessed child pornography inside the Vatican?

Sex offenders moved around

April 2015: A US federal grand jury indicted Rev. Joseph Maurizio accused “on charges pertaining to sex trips to molest boys [in Honduras] as well as three counts of transmitting funds into and out of the US in furtherance of his criminal activity.”
“The priest was arrested Sept. 24, nine days after a raid on the parish rectory and his farmhouse in Paint Township, Pennsylvania.”

February 2015: “A Flemish priest who has been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse for many years has been in charge of an orphanage in Brazil. The Dutch congregation to which John D. belongs to is aware of the allegations, but has so far hardly intervened.”

December 2014: “Alessandro De Rossi, a priest accused of sexual abuse in Salta [Malvinas, Argentina] was arrested in Italy. Since then Salta Justice is in the process of extradition to stand trial in religious local courts … The priest is charged with the crime of ‘aggravated sexual abuse seriously outrageous and corruption of minors.’” De Rossi was a “fidei donum” priest, still attached to his diocese but sent abroad to do missionary work. With the approval of the pope, Don Alessandro was appointed priest in the Roman “parish of celebrities” on December 1, 2013. One Italian parishioner noted, “There were suspicious goings on around kids in the parish.” Another questioned, “Is it possible the Church did not know of his past with the law?” At the time, they were only informed the “de Rossi is back in Rome for health reasons with a positive view of the local bishop.”

November 2014: “Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul who fled to his native India to avoid facing felony criminal sexual conduct charges was just extradited back to Minnesota. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old and 16-year-old girl.” One alleged “that he’d masturbated in front of her, groped her, and forced her to give him oral sex.”

November 2014: “Although he received accusations from two victims of sexual abuse against a Fr. ‘M.D.’,  Belgian Bishop Jozef De Kesel did not prevent the priest from going to Brazil where he now works with street children.”

October 2014: Fr. Roger Mount “who was allowed to continue preaching in Papua New Guinea despite being named in child abuse compensation settlements was deported to Australia and is likely to face being extradited from Queensland to Victoria.”

October 2014: “U.S. Marshals are attempting to find a Catholic priest who disappeared after he was accused of molesting a six-year-old Brooklyn girl last June. We found out he has friends and family down here,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Juan Lara, the agency’s local spokesman.

February 2014: Monsignor Carlos Urrutigoity is now second-in-command of the Diócesis de Ciudad del Este in Paraguay.  “A former Diocese of Scranton [Pennsylvania] priest, Urrutigoity was accused more than a decade ago of abusing local children in a federal sexual abuse lawsuit … Bishop Martino carefully and consistently expressed his grave doubts about this cleric’s suitability for priestly ministry … to appropriate Church officials, including Bishop Rogelio Livieres, Bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; the Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay; and the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.”

Fail to report abuse charges to proper authority

April 2015: In Kerala, India, Fr. Edwin Figarez had been accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl between January and March this year, “mostly when she came for confession.” The bishop followed Canon (ecclesial) Law and “suspended Figarez for the time being” but did not turn him over to the police. The mother went to the police. Figarez “remains underground and continues to evade the police.”

April 2015: Nine recent cases are cited by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) where credible allegations of child sex abuse were kept secret from the public by U.S. prelates. “We could cite dozens and dozens of other examples proving that the self-serving secrecy that caused the church’s global abuse and cover up crisis remains in force.

March 2015: “The spokesman for the Polish Catholic Bishops Conference, Fr Jozef Kloch, stated that as a matter of policy Polish bishops would not report allegations of child sex abuse by clergy to the civil authorities. It was up to the victims to report, he said.”

March 2015: Philippine Church “authorities have never turned over a clerical child sex abuser to the civil authorities. Never has a priest sex abuser been convicted. The bishops, who represent the management of the Church, should be held to account for they simply ship off child-abuser priests to dioceses abroad in some cases. When they abuse abroad and are investigated they rush back to a hideout the Philippines.”

January 2015: In a special report profiling a dozen key cases of priests in the Philippines accused of child sex abuse: “These cases are important because they reveal an enduring resistance by Filipino bishops to punishing and exposing offending priests.”

March 2014: The Italian bishops’ conference declared they had no official obligation to report the sexual abuse of children to any legal authorities outside of the Catholic Church with no objection from the pope.

Appeals, Petitions, Letters

June 2015: The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission demands that the Pope come to Canada to apologize “for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.” The commission’s report says there has been “a patchwork of apologies or statements of regret” in Canada that few residential school survivors or Church members may even know exist. “It has been disappointing to survivors and others that the Pope has not yet made a clear and emphatic public apology in Canada,” the report says.

January 2015: Two people who say they were sexually abused as teenagers asked Pope Francis via press conference to investigate the way the Diocese of Buffalo handled their complaints.

December 2014: Two Argentine women traveled to Rome to ask Pope Francis for justice in the case of Fr. Héctor Ricardo Giménez who was found saying mass in a hospital chapel in 2013. “We think this man abused hundreds of children,” stated Estefania Gelso. Like the letter they had in January 2014, their trip produced no results.

December 2014: “Three priests have written to Pope Francis seeking an investigation into the Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy. One of their concerns, a controversial move by then-Archbishop Tim Dolan to put $57 million into a cemetery trust fund he admitted was to provide improved protection of these funds from ‘any legal claim and liability.’ The intent of the bankruptcy proceeding for Church officials was ‘to exhaust silence and slander victims as well as to serve as a warning to others,’ the letter asserts.”

December 2014: Leaders of victims in three countries wrote an open letter to Pope Francis asking that he “take concrete action to protect children now.”
They want him to:
-Fire the predators,
-Order all bishops to report suspected sex crimes, open files and turn over evidence to police, and
-Punish bishops and Church officials who knowingly transfer predators and/or shield predators from police.”

July 2014: Open letter that Pope Francis “dismiss Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City for his clear participation in the cover-up of [Legion of Christ founder] Marcial Maciel, and Father Nicolás Aguilar and other pederasts … [T]he manifesto signed by 128 abuse survivors, lawyers and supportive groups was announced at a news conference in Mexico City, where the newspaper La Jornada called the Church’s deeds ‘crimes against humanity.’”

July 2014: A group of Argentine survivors called on Pope Francis to “amend hazardous defects of ecclesiastical laws so that permissive bishops will no longer remain in office.”

May 2014: Italian victims of pedophile priests sent a video to Pope Francis asking for sympathy and compensation. Among them were “eight deaf and mute people who were enrolled in a school in Verona, where 25 priests abused at least 100 students from the 1950s to the 1990s. Rete l’Abuso (Abuse Network) organization produced the video. The organization’s website identifies 148 priests convicted of child molestation, and a map of Italy detailing the Catholic parishes where the crimes occurred.”

May 2014: “Request the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn … after he failed to report a priest who had taken or possessed hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls.”  263,594 supporters of this petition were ignored until the pope needed a scapegoat to quell the fury over his appointment of Barros.

April 2014: After the pope promoted Pell as his chief financial official, Australian Catholics petitioned, “Pope Francis: Sack Cardinal Pell Now…. His lack of empathy, justice and compassion for the victims of [sex] abuse is hard to reconcile with what Jesus did and taught. His few words of apology were hard to take seriously.”

September 2013: Two hundred people in a Scotland parish signed a petition accusing the Bishop of Galloway, John Cunningham, of persecuting and ostracizing Fr. Patrick Lawson. Lawson was removed from the parish after nearly two decades  of calling the Scottish hierarchy to take action against Fr Paul Moore who he accuses of sexually abusing altar boys.

August 2013: “Pope Francis: Stop Recycling Pedophile Priests” a petition signed by almost 7,000 because Newark Archbishop John J. Myers “failed to take action against a sexually abusive priest.”

May 2013: A petition to Pope Francis: Address the Global Sex Abuse Crisis and Convene a Truth and Reconciliation Commission begun by two of Karadima’s victims. The petition gained 10,229 supporters.

May 2013: “Call for the resignation of Rev. John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis“ for “deception” in handling pedophile priests.

Pope’s appointments

May 2015: “Right now, the Irish betting firm Paddy Power has Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines as the favorite to be the next pope, giving him 11/2 odds. Already dubbed the ‘Asian Francis,’ Tagle got another boost this week with his election to lead a global federation of Catholic charities.” “In a 2012 interview, Tagle said that zero tolerance was a subject of debate in the Philippines [and] in a little-noticed 2012 video interview he observed of the Asian church’s response to clergy sexual misconduct, “I think for us … exposing persons, both victims and abusers, to the public, either through media or legal action, that adds to the pain.”

January 2015: Pope Francis appointed Blase Cupich archbishop of Chicago in September 2014. Fr. Michael W. O’Connell “was temporarily suspended in December 2013 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a boy years earlier.” He was reinstated “even though the Cook County Sheriff’s Department never closed the criminal case. Weeks later, new allegations surfaced involving alleged abuse of a different boy in the 1990s.” Cupich is keeping O’Connell on the job with admonitions to “to avoid the parish school” and “not be alone with a child,” a contention that SNAP calls “ludicrous and dangerous.”

December 2014: Pope Francis promoted Bishop Christopher Coyne to bishop of Vermont. Coyne was “Cardinal Bernard Law’s former mouthpiece. For years, time and time again, then Fr. Coyne repeated deceptive public relations spin about heinous child sex crimes and callous cover ups by Law and other Catholic officials. While a bishop in Indiana, [SNAP] prodded Coyne to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen crimes by Fr. Francis Markey who was arrested by US marshals at his Indiana home in connection with the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy twice, including the day of the boy’s father’s funeral. As best we can tell, he ignored our request.”

November 2014: Pope Francis promoted Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher to Secretary for Relations with States. “This important role is the equivalent to that of a Foreign Minister.” As nuncio to Australia, Gallager “claimed diplomatic immunity in response to repeated requests for archival documentation that might assist” the New South Wales Special Commission of Inquiry into child sex abuse by Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen. Gallagher told Cunneen that his office is “the high diplomatic representative of the Holy See to the Commonwealth” and citied “the protections afforded by international agreements, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.” Gallagher later relented.

November 2014: Pope Francis appointed Fr. Robert J. Geisinger as prosecutor of sex abuse cases at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) even though he had allowed a fellow Jesuit, a notorious serial sexual predator, to remain in ministry for years.

November 2014: Pope Francis appointed Archbishop José Luis Mollaghan to a new panel to assist the CDF in prosecuting clerical sex abuse. Mollaghan was “suspended in May as head of the Rosario archdiocese in Argentina due to accusations that he mismanaged Church funds” and “has a dismal record on abuse in his home diocese and nation.”

September 2014: Fr. Robert Oliver was appointed the Vatican’s “point man on sexual abuse” as chief of staff for the pope’s sex abuse commission, Oliver was “a champion of accused priests” while he was a canon lawyer for Boston cardinals Law and O’Malley.

February 2014: In his first consistory for naming cardinals, in addition to elevating Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller (see below), the pope included Santiago Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, another Chilean prelate who had also covered-up the sexual abuse of children by Fr. Fernando Karadima.

January 2014: Pope Francis promoted Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer to head the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, diocese. As bishop of Lexington, Gainer failed to take action against Fr. Carroll Howlin. “Last year, the Chicago Tribune reported that Fr. Howlin, suspended for sexually abusing Illinois boys, still lives and works – unsupervised – in McCreary County. The cleric has reportedly also molested two Kentucky boys, one of whom committed suicide. Despite his suspension, however, the Tribune reports that Fr. Howlin’s supervisors in both the Lexington and the Joliet Catholic diocese have basically ignored him … Gainer put Fr. William G. Poole back into a parish even though Poole was twice charged with public indecency (1990 and 2001) and accused (in 2003) of molesting a boy. A Catholic lay panel in the Covington diocese found the child sex abuse allegation against Poole to be credible and paid a settlement to the victim. But Gainer recklessly put Poole back on the job.”

December 2013: Pope Francis reconfirmed Cardinal William Levada to the powerful (because they help select new prelates) Congregation for Bishops although Levada has one of the worst records among the U.S. episcopate for covering up for criminal clerics.

December 2013: Pope Francis appointed Fr. John Doerfler as the new bishop for the diocese of Marquette, Michigan. During the trial of a serial child molester, Doerfler admitted under oath that he had deliberately destroyed “nearly all records and documentation in the secret Church files of at least 51 reported to have sexually assaulted children after the Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled that victims of childhood sexual abuse could file fraud suits against Catholic dioceses in the state for covering up for clerics….When specifically asked if it bothered him that clerics who abused children were being dumped into the community without public notice, Doerfler chillingly answered: ‘No’”.

September 2013: Pope Francis approved Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the office of the Holy See that has dealt with all sexual abuse cases 2001. As bishop of Regensburg, Germany, Müller promoted Fr. Peter Kramer, previously convicted of child sex abuse and ordered not to work with children, to pastor.  Müller concealed Kramer’s conviction from parishioners. When victims learned of Kramer’s new assignment, additional victims came forward and Kramer was convicted of additional child abuse.

April 2013: The pope also chose Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley as a C9 member. “A close look at the cardinal reveals a career-long pattern of resisting disclosure of information, reinstating priests of dubious suitability, and negotiating mass settlements that are among the least generous in the history of the crisis.”

Legal Maneuvers

March 2015: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the office in charge of abuse cases, has refused to cooperate with civil authorities in Italy concerning a well-known priest that Benedict XVI dismissed from the clerical state in 2012 … But Pope Francis re-instated him last summer after he appealed the decision and then sentenced the priest to a ‘life of prayer and penance.’ The Italian Magistrates were seeking access to documents ‘subsequent to the canonical trial’ at which Fr Mauro Inzoli was initially dismissed.  The Vatican’s rejection of their demand seems to confirm that once canonical proceedings commence, the pontifical secret applies, and any disclosure of information obtained in those proceedings is strictly forbidden’”

February 2015: A settlement was reached between 232 plaintiffs sexually abused by priests and nuns at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius, Montana. “The agreement breaks down to less than $20,000 per victim. “These nuns no doubt say they’re ‘poor’ but frankly we doubt that claim. When it suits them, Catholic officials say they’re part of a huge global church. But when it benefits them, like in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases, they claim each diocese or religious order is autonomous.
Did these nuns even try to borrow money from other Catholic institutions (like Boston’s disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law did) or raise more money in any way, so they could do justice by these hundreds of still-suffering victims? We doubt it. Shame on them.”

February 2015: “The Archdiocese of Mobile [Alabama] is attempting to block subpoenas related to sexual abuse allegations, according to court documents. Reverend Johnny Savoie at St. Pius X Catholic School is being sued by four parents for allegedly failing to protect their children from claimed bullying problems.”

September 2014: Justice Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission looking into the abuses that occurred over the years in Indian residential schools, said the “’government of Canada and the Catholics have not provided documents’ needed for the commission to complete its work. He also said the churches were being unco-operative, and the Catholic Church in particular fears more abuse stories will emerge against living clergy. Seventy per cent of the 140 Indian residential schools were run by the Catholic Church with the remainder operated by the Anglican, United, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist Churches.

May 2014: “A judge rejected a lawsuit filed by the Diocese of Arecibo [Puerto Rico] seeking to block the release of additional information to prosecutors regarding sex abuse allegations … The judge gave the diocese two weeks to hand over the information.

April 2014: “The Netherlands Church is still not properly handling allegations of sexual abuse by priests and brothers according to three victims’ organizations. They are outraged that the Church has unilaterally terminated mediation and victim assistance.”

Statutes of Limitations

February 2015: “Those who say they suffered childhood sexual abuse by clergy will have to comply with 2010 statute of limitations after a narrow vote by a South Dakota legislative committee. In 2010, with the backing of Church lobbyists, state lawmakers approved a new statute of limitations restricting some types of civil litigation in childhood sex abuse cases. Proponents testified that alleged abuse in Catholic Indian Boarding Schools happened so long ago few of the accused are alive to defend themselves. Opponents to that law argue the new statute of limitations was applied retroactively by the courts resulting in the dismissal of several ongoing childhood sex abuse lawsuits—further damaging the victims who are still alive today.”

February 2015: “A Spanish court has dropped charges against 11 out of 12 suspects in a clerical sex abuse scandal because the crimes fall within the statute of limitations. The Grenada court dropped charges of “sexual abuse with penetration, exhibitionism, and concealment of evidence” against nine priests and two laymen accused of abusing an altar boy.” This case became famous because the victim wrote a letter to Pope Francis. The pope phoned him “asking him to ‘forgive this extremely serious sin’ [and] that “people are already working so that all of this can be resolved.’” Granada’s Archbishop Francisco Javier Martínez only suspended the three priests directly accused of child abuse. His refusal to suspend the seven priests charged for covering up the crime sends the appalling message that enabling, tolerating, cooperating and covering up child rape is acceptable behavior that should not be punished. However, “the Holy Pontiff continues to support the controversial archbishop” because he is still in office.

March 2013: Cardinal Timothy Dolan “has successfully lobbied Albany to block SOL reform. Furthermore, before coming to New York, he himself testified publicly against window legislation in Wisconsin and is rumored to have paid off pedophile priests.”

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (I)


The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (I)

Grant Gallicho

August 14, 2014 – 6:24pm

From the Link: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/curious-case-carlos-urrutigoity-i

Pedophile Priest, Father Carlos Urrigoity

Pedophile Priest, Father Carlos Urrigoity

 

In early July the Vatican announced that it would send investigators to the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The apostolic visitation was prompted by complaints from local bishops and laypeople following news reports that an Argentine priest accused of molesting high-school students in Pennsylvania had been welcomed into Ciudad del Este by Bishop Rogelio Livieres—and promoted to vicar general.

Weeks later, the Vatican revealed that it had removed Fr. Urrutigoity from his position as vicar general and—in an unusual step—barred Bishop Livieres from ordaining anyone for the time being. (A final decision will be made after the Vatican finishes studying the investigators’ report.) In response, the Diocese of Ciudad del Este published a long, forceful defense of Urrutigoity and Livieres. The statement, posted to the diocese’s website, claims that Urrutigoity is innocent, that he and the bishop have been the victim of a smear campaign, that his previous bishop approved his transfer to Paraguay, and that he came with the recommendation of several cardinals—including Joseph Ratzinger.

In a 2002 federal lawsuit, a plaintiff claimed that Urrutigoity and another priest, Eric Ensey, had molested him under the guise of “spiritual direction.” He accused Ensey of abusing him while he was a high-school student in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and he accused Urrutigoity of sexual misconduct after he graduated and was preparing for the priesthood. (No criminal charges were filed because the statute of limitations had run.) In addition to the abuse accusations, depositions and affidavits taken in connection with the suit allege that the priests often supplied alcohol to underage boys and regularly shared their beds with them. The bishop at the time, James Timlin, eventually suspended both clerics, and the diocese eventually settled out of court for about four hundred thousand dollars. The case rocked the diocese for years, not only because of the plaintiff’s shocking allegations, but also because the accused priests were not local to Scranton. Bishop Timlin had invited them in.

A review of hundreds of pages of court documents—including private correspondence, depositions, and affidavits—makes it clear that the Urrutigoity case is one of the most complicated to emerge during the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. It spans three decades, two continents, three countries, and two states. It involves multiple bishops—some schismatic—several dioceses, and numerous high-ranking Vatican officials. The priest’s rise to prominence tracks closely with the church’s growing awareness of the gravity of clerical sexual abuse. Accusations of misconduct have followed him from Argentina to Pennsylvania. That’s what makes his reappearance in Ciudad del Este—where the bishop had him helping with seminary formation before promoting him to vicar general—so difficult to understand. How could a Catholic priest with such a history end up as second in command of a diocese—in 2014?

Carlos Urrutigoity’s route to Ciudad del Este was remarkably circuitous. His clerical career began in La Reja, Argentina, where he entered a seminary run by the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist organization that rejects the Second Vatican Council and practices the unreformed Latin Mass. Urrutigoity was kicked out when it was alleged that he had made sexual advances on a fellow seminarian, according to court documents. He was given a second chance at another SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota, where he was ordained in the early 1990s by Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988—an act that brought automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.

(As part of his failed effort to bring the SSPX back into full communion with Rome, Benedict XVI lifted the SSPX bishops’ excommunications in 2009. Soon after, video surfaced in which Williamson denied that the Nazis had used gas chambers, and claimed no more than three hundred thousand Jews died in the Shoah. He was eventually ejected from the SSPX.)

By 1997, Urrutigoity was teaching at the Winona seminary. He had developed quite a following among priests and seminarians, a following that Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, would later call “strange” and “abnormal.” Urrutigoity hatched a plan to create a society within the SSPX that would espouse more rigorous spiritual practices. They would call themselves the Society of St. John. But when that plan was discovered by Williamson in May ’97, the bishop was not pleased, and he expelled Urrutigoity from the seminary. He didn’t leave alone.

Within weeks, Urrutigoity and a handful of other former members of SSPX—including Eric Ensey—had secured a meeting with James Timlin, then bishop of Scranton. They told the bishop that they were “seeking to return to the true church,” according to a 2007 chronology prepared by James Earley, then chancellor of the Diocese of Scranton. Timlin was persuaded.

That was June 1997. On September 15, Timlin wrote to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which was responsible for normalizing relations with SSPX members and other traditionalists. Benedict XVI tasked the commission with supervising the application of his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which granted permission for wider use of the old Latin Mass (the “extraordinary form,” as it’s now called). Timlin sought the commission’s advice about restoring Society of St. John priests and deacons to full communion with Rome. Just seven days later “the censures the former members of the SSPX had incurred by virtue of receiving the sacrament of holy orders illicitly were lifted,” according to Earley’s chronology. They were Catholic again.

Society of St. John members took up residence in an unused wing of St. Gregory’s Academy, a Catholic boarding school run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a small traditionalist group in communion with the Holy See. Members exclusively celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass. The Fraternity of St. Peter established its North American headquarters in Scranton in 1992, while Timlin was bishop. Ensey became chaplain of St. Gregory’s, and other Society of St. John members taught classes.

On May 24, 1998, less than a year after the former members of SSPX arrived seeking to return to the Catholic Church, Bishop Timlin established the Society of St. John as a “public association of the faithful,” a designation granting them certain rights under canon law. The bishop held a series of meetings with members of the society, now officially led by Urrutigoity, to work out the organization’s mission. Their ambition was to establish a community for Catholics committed to the rites of the 1962 Roman Missal—that is, the unreformed Latin rites—a Catholic liberal-arts college, and a Catholic village. Timlin approved their plan, even though he had not run background checks on any Society of St. John members, nor had he reviewed their seminary formation records.

If he had, perhaps he would have been spared the surprise of reading a February 1999 letter from Bishop Fellay, superior general of the SSPX, warning him that Urrutigoity had approached the bed of a Winona seminarian named Matthew Selinger twice “for obvious dishonest acts.” Fellay informed Timlin that Urrutigoity was “accused of a similar action” in Argentina—“with a seminarian who is now a member of the Society of St. John.” But what disturbed Fellay the most was that Urrutigoity “had a strange, abnormal influence on the seminarians and priests, whom he seemed to attach to his brilliant, charismatic personality.” One of the reasons Fellay rejected Urrutigoity’s proposal to establish the Society of St. John within SSPX, he explained, was this “guru-like attachment between the disciples and their leader.” If Timlin wanted to investigate further, “we are at your disposal,” Fellay wrote, promising that Selinger was “ready to state under oath the facts mentioned above.” Eventually Salinger would.

Urrutigoity met with Timlin shortly thereafter, and denied Fellay’s claims. About five months later, Timlin sent three people to interview Selinger: Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty, then-Vicar General Fr. Joseph Kopacz, and a lay attorney for the diocese, Francis X. O’Connor. In a report of that meeting written for Timlin, the three concluded, “All the auditors are inclined to believe Matthew Selinger,” according to a backgrounder prepared by the diocese’s Internal Review Board in 2002. Yet, when the IRB considered the case in 1999, it did not recommend suspending Urrutigoity. “Not only does the accused priest deny the allegation, but the other parties made points which seem to lessen the force of much that was reported by the complainant,” according to the minutes of a 1999 IRB meeting. “It is Bishop Timlin’s mind that without further knowledge, at present not available, a conclusion in this instance cannot be reached.” The minutes do not question the credibility of Selinger’s claims.

He detailed those claims four years later in sworn testimony given in connection with the 2002 lawsuit. During that deposition, Selinger recounted his relationship with Urrutigoity. The priest, then a teacher at the seminary, was Selinger’s spiritual director and confessor. Asked how the Society of St. John got started, Selinger said, “they wanted saints, and they wanted them now, and pretty much an elite.”

The first time he met Urrutigoity, Selinger said, the priest suggested he and another seminarian swim with him in the nude.

One year Selinger gave up meat for Lent. “I got constipated.” He asked Urrutigoity to help him get Metamucil, but the priest returned with suppositories. Never having seen one before, Selinger attempted to take it orally. Urrutigoity corrected him. When Selinger started heading toward the bathroom, Urrutigoity asked, “What are you doing?” Selinger explained that he was going to use the suppository in private, but Urrutigoity persisted. “What, I’m not you’re friend?” Selinger replied that he didn’t “want [his friends] watching him” in the bathroom. “That’s part of your pride, Matt,” Urrutigoity told him. According to Selinger, the priest said that because the seminarian came from “a rough background” and depended on his “strength to do everything,” the priest had to “break” Selinger’s “pride” in order to “let God into [his] heart.” Selinger went to the bathroom anyway. “He got real mad at me.”

Urrutigoity placed a high value on loyalty, according to Selinger. “He had this idea that when you’re buddies, you do everything for each other…. So much so, friendship in this supernatural realm, we’re friends, you know, we are the same faith and everything, it’s deeper.” Because both of them were Catholic, Urrutigoity believed that “we were close spiritually,” Selinger continued. “We were one.” After all, “if two people become one [in marriage], why can’t two friends become one?” That sentiment was evident in Urrutigoity’s screen saver, which Selinger said displayed the following quote from Scripture: Ego et Pater unum sumus. I and the Father are one.

On a few occasions, Urrutigoity would go home with Selinger during breaks. “He was intrigued with the idea that I grew up with three brothers,” Selinger said. “He asked me where we all slept.” The Selingers didn’t have much money, “so we all slept in the same bed.”

Sleeping arrangements became an issue after Urrutigoity was expelled from the Winona seminary. He and the men who left with him—including Selinger—ended up staying at the home of one of Urrutigoity’s friends. At first, according to Selinger, there were enough beds. But then more people showed up, and Urrutigoity suggested the two bunk together.

By that point Selinger had grown disaffected. He was not happy about the artwork in the house. The images of nude women were too tempting. More troubling, he didn’t see evidence of the spiritual rigorism Urrutigoity said motivated him to create the Society of St. John. “No one was wearing a cassock,” and “I didn’t see anyone praying the breviary.” Nor did he see anyone praying the rosary. “But the whole point of everything that we were doing was to do things more and do it in communion,” Selinger said. So when Urrutigoity offered to share a bed with Selinger to make room for the new guests, he was not inclined to accept. He would sleep on the floor instead, as a sacrifice, he told Urrutigoity, hoping the priest would be satisfied. He was, for the moment.

Later that night, Selinger said, he awoke to find Urrutigoity’s hand on his penis. Shocked, and torn between the urge to strike the priest and the fear of harming a man of the cloth—“my dad once told me a guy hit a priest and his arm was frozen forever”—Selinger rolled over on his side, pretending not to notice. Worried that Urrutigoity would try again the following night, Selinger tried to take naps during the day so he could stay awake.

Urrutigoity approached Selinger’s bed again that night, “obviously to do what he did the night before,” but this time Selinger played it off, asking Urrutigoity whether he was having trouble sleeping. The cleric claimed that he was “having temptations in my sleep, dreams of girls” and wanted to pray at Selinger’s bedside, according to Selinger. A few days later, Selinger confronted Urrutigoity, said the priest needed psychological help, and left the Society of St. John to return to his family.

Almost immediately, Selinger’s father knew something was wrong. Eventually he told his father what had happened. His father phoned Fr. Eric Ensey, who in turn called Selinger and invited him to California. It was there that Selinger shared with Ensey what had happened with Urrutigoity, according to Selinger’s testimony. Selinger said that Ensey promised to confront Urrutigoity. A couple of weeks later, Selinger said, Ensey reported to him that Urrutigoity had “admitted it.”

It was June 1998—a year after the Society of St. John convinced Bishop Timlin to invite them into the Diocese of Scranton. As the lawyer questioning Selinger noted, in March ’99 Ensey wrote to Timlin claiming that “Urrutigoity himself has always denied having perpetrated any of the improprieties with which he has been charged, and ever with the greatest fidelity to his role as Matthew’s spiritual director and friend.”

As time went on, Selinger wondered why Ensey hadn’t left Scranton. So he asked. Ensey said that “Fr. U. said I [Seinger] was sick and he was doing that [grabbing his penis] because he can tell if you’re aroused, you’re sick, or like, if you look at someone’s tongue and it’s all cracked then there’s something wrong in the soul,” according to Selinger. He explained that it wasn’t unusual for Urrutigoity to claim such expertise: “He said he would give Communion and look at people’s tongues and tell if that person was suffering more than the next person.” Selinger stopped taking Ensey’s calls.

But in summer 2003, Ensey contacted Selinger with what sounded like an urgent request. He wanted to meet in person. He warned Selinger that he might be subpoenaed in a pending lawsuit. He admitted that he was accused of molesting a boy, Selinger testified, but swore he was innocent. Ensey was concerned that if Selibger testified against Urrutigoity, it would “bury” Ensey too. “Then he said to me, ‘You know, if they subpoena you, you can’t get out of it. Now, you can leave the country.” But by that time Selinger was married with children. Then, Selinger testified, Ensey suggested that he lie. “You know I don’t lie,” Selinger replied. Finally, Ensey floated the possibility of Selinger talking to his lawyer. “He’s a good guy,” Selinger recalled him saying. “He’s got strong ties to the mafia.”

Selinger interpreted that as a threat, so he decided to accept Ensey’s offer to speak with the attorney. But, he testified, the lawyer never contacted him. And he never spoke with Ensey again.

Selinger said that he shared all that information with the auditors from the Diocese of Scranton, that they said they believed him. He also testified that he told Bishop Timlin about Urrutigoity in writing. (I haven’t seen that letter.) “I don’t want anything,” Selinger said. No money. No compensation of any kind. But he was upset when he learned that the diocese had taken Urrutigoity’s word over his:

This guy goes to Argentina, gets accused, and he says, “I didn’t do it,” and everybody says “OK.” Then he goes to the United States, and I know of two people and then, you know, including myself, in the seminary, and he’s accused, and he says, “I didn’t do it.” Then he goes to Scranton and he’s touching boys around when they’re sleeping…. They’re saying, “He touched me,” and he’s saying he didn’t do it. And everybody is saying, “OK.” So, yeah I’m mad that he keeps doing it and people keep getting it done to them and everybody just says, “OK.” Nothing gets done.

Selinger’s deposition was given on October 28, 2003. He couldn’t have known it at the time, but just a few weeks earlier, Scranton had received a new bishop, Joseph Martino, and before long he would make it his business to get something done.

This is the first of a series of posts on the Urrutigoity case.

Pope Benedict XVI Reportedly Vouched For Carlos Urrutigoity, Paraguay Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse


Pope Benedict XVI Reportedly Vouched For Carlos Urrutigoity, Paraguay Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse

Posted: 08/06/2014 10:41 am EDT Updated: 08/06/2014 10:59 am EDT
Head Pedophile Pimp of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps and Priests His Unholiness Papal Bullshitter, Pope Benedict XVI

Head Pedophile Pimp of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophile Pimps and Priests His Unholiness Papal Bullshitter, Pope Benedict XVI

 

(RNS) A showdown between Pope Francis and a conservative bishop in Paraguay is heating up as the bishop rejected charges that he sheltered a priest accused of sexual misconduct, and claimed that Pope Benedict XVI himself vouched for the suspect cleric just days before his election as pope in 2005.

The conflict between the Vatican and Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este was sparked by revelations in March that the bishop had promoted a Catholic priest who had been barred from ministry in Pennsylvania after church officials there said he molested several boys.

Last month, Rome dispatched a cardinal and an archbishop to Paraguay to investigate, and on July 30 the Vatican said it was removing the priest, the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, from his job as the diocese’s No. 2 official. It also took the unusual step of barring Livieres from ordaining any men to the priesthood.

 In a detailed and sharply worded 12-point rebuttal to Rome, the Paraguayan diocese said Urrutigoity has been the subject of “a long and harsh defamation campaign in the U.S.” and said he came “recommended by some cardinals with roles in the Vatican.”

One of those cardinals, it said, was Joseph Ratzinger, who “was elected pope Benedict XVI a few days later,” in April 2005.

Benedict, who resigned in February 2013, has been praised for toughening church policies against abusive priests. Before his election as pope, he ran the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has jurisdiction over all abuse cases.

Urrutigoity was accused of abuse in a highly publicized lawsuit in Scranton, Pa., in 2002. At the time, he and another priest, Eric Ensey, were suspended by then-Bishop James Timlin amid allegations they had sexually molested students at St. Gregory’s Academy in Elmhurst, now closed. The diocese reportedly reached a $450,000 settlement in the case in 2006.

Timlin’s successor, Bishop Joseph Martino, who is also retired, in 2005 shut down the Society of St. John, a conservative group that Urrutigoity had founded; the group was known for promoting the old Latin Mass and for lavish spending.

Pedophile Priest, Father Carlos Urrigoity

Pedophile Priest, Father Carlos Urrigoity

By then, Urrutigoity had moved to Paraguay, along with a number of priests and lay people from Scranton, to reconstitute the society under the auspices of Livieres, a member of the Opus Dei order who had developed a reputation as an outspoken conservative, even in the Paraguayan hierarchy.

At the time, Martino alerted Livieres and the Vatican ambassadors to the U.S. and Paraguay about the accusations against Urrutigoity, which a church review board had found credible.

But Livieres accepted the Argentine-born Urrutigoity, eventually named him a monsignor and then appointed him vicar general, which is the second-most powerful position in a diocese.

Media reports in March about Urrutigoity’s promotion prompted the current Scranton bishop to reiterate the objections to the priest serving in ministry anywhere, and a lengthy story in the Global Post about Urrutigoity’s checkered career also helped set in motion the chain of events leading to the confrontation between Livieres and the Vatican.

The online rebuttal by the Paraguayan diocese focuses on the Urrutigoity case but also serves as a chance for the bishop to defend himself against a range of long-standing criticisms – many from his fellow bishops — of his conservative policies and positions on church issues and Paraguayan politics.

The rejoinder concludes on an especially dramatic note, invoking the events portrayed in the award-winning film “The Mission,” about Rome’s suppression of Jesuit evangelization efforts in Paraguay in the 18th century.

“The growth and strength of the People of God in Paraguay was cruelly maimed” as a result of those events, says the statement, which is set to the famous soundtrack of the 1986 film.

“They were also accused by questionable ecclesiastics in alliance with powerful lobbies and politicians,” it adds, noting the irony that Francis is himself a Jesuit from South America who is set to “write the story” of that previous suppression “in a new way.”

Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals are paedophiles


Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals are paedophiles

Pope Admits there are Child Rapists at Every Level in the Church

Francis pledged to drive out the ‘leprocy’ of child abuse from the Church

by Adam Withnall

Published 13/07/2014|15:37

From the link: http://theenchantingvalley.ning.com/profiles/blogs/pope-admits-there-are-child-rapists-at-every-level-in-the-church?xg_source=activity

Blogger Notes: A study done by The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect found that even though only 25% of citizens in the U.S. are Roman Catholic, 54% of the sexual abuse cases were perpetrated by Catholic priests. The church has paid at least 2.6 billion to settle sexual abuse cases. In 2007 alone the Los Angeles Archdiocese on July 15 announced the largest church settlement of sexual abuse lawsuits to date, agreeing to pay more than 500 alleged victims a total of $660 million. The abuse continues and the wealthy Vatican is easily able to cover these claims. The Vatican even has insurance policies to cover these operating costs.

 

This is a startling revelation which would mean that of the 396,476 priests currently in service (265,320 are Diocesan and 130,728 are Congregational)  there are 7,929 priests who could be categorised as being child sexual abusers made up of 5,306 which are Diocesan and 2,614 which are Congregational. What is not clear is to what set or group His Holiness Pope Francis is referring and in reference to what period. The statistic of 2% translates in a huge number of victims which is by far the more important statistic to be drawn from this revelation. It translates into anything from 400,000 to 2,000,000 children sexually abused by catholic priests. Mark Vincent Healy – CCSA Survivor and Campaigner who met with Pope Francis last week – See more at: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/pope-francis-one-in-50-catholic-priests-bishops-and-cardinals-are-paedophiles-30427696.html#comments

Pope Francis has revealed that “reliable data” collected by the Vatican suggests that one in every 50 members of the Catholic clergy is a paedophile.

Speaking in an interview with La Repubblica, the Pope said his advisors had tried to “reassure” him that paedophilia within the Church was “at the level of two per cent”.

He pledged that he would drive away the “leprosy” of child abuse that was infecting the “house” of Catholicism.

“I find this state of affairs intolerable,” he said.

Pope Francis said his advisors at the Vatican had given him the two per cent estimate, which included “priests, bishops and cardinals”.

He also warned of much greater figures for people who were aware of the existence of abuse – sometimes within their own families – but who stayed silent because of corruption or fear.

His comments came a week after the Pope met with six victims of clerical paedophilia to apologise for their abuse at the hands of priests.

The meeting, with six British, Irish and German Catholics, was designed to acknowledge the gravity of the Church’s guilt and complicity.

Despite Pope Francis’s popularity, there has been criticism of Francis for failing to take a high-profile stand against the global paedophilia scandal.

His predecessor, Benedict XVI, met with victims of sexual abuse by priests, in Washington in 2008. He then met with victims in Australia, Germany, Malta and the UK.

In February and May, critical reports released by two separate UN committees condemned the Church’s “code of silence” on paedophile priests. It said this silence was allowing known sex offenders to continue working with children.

Independent News Service

Pope Francis asked us to forgive him?


Pope Francis asked us survivors of priest rape and nun abuse of the Roman Catholic Church to forgive him the other day.
After talking to quite a few of my brother and sister survivors well….we find it rather insulting. These are the reasons why.

1. To be forgiven you MUST repent. Even Jesus Christ says this. To repent means you turn away from the evil you are asking forgiveness for. So has the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis and those whom committed either the crimes of cover ups and moving around of pedophile priests, or the priests themselves whom raped and abused us, and thus destroying our faiths, our lives, truly repented? In the opinions of the majority of priest and nun abuse survivors the answer is a resounding NO.

To truly show repentance, the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis must show real concrete action in cleaning this mess up and not just lip service and more empty promises to us.

Pope Francis MUST immediately fire and prosecute to the fullest extent the law allows and give the harshest penalties to all credibly accused Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops whom there is overwhelming evidence against they participated in these cover ups. We have positive proof many Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops did in fact cover up these crimes against us. Through their own words, through Church documents, through whistleblower accounts by the likes of Father Thomas Doyle and other brave priests, nuns and yes, leaders whom find this evil just as disgusting as we do and a cancer destroying this church, we do in fact have overwhelming evidence, that if these people were brought before a court of law, they would be convicted of their crimes of cover ups. 80% of the Cardinals and other leaders currently in the United States participated in this cover up, there is more than enough evidence against them to prove this.

Their excuses are weak, they did not know this was a crime is one of the biggest insults that can be said to us. This has been said by many of those whom covered up these crimes, or that they were ill prepared to deal with this. Well to the victims of these crimes..this is just another example of hey…we know what we did was wrong, but we will make any excuse to cover our butts.

2. Another priest was found whom raped children and is now safely in Paraguay. His name is Father Carlos Urrutigoity. This is just one more of dozens of other priests whom have still escaped justice through the help of the Roman Catholic Church along with such Cardinals as Bernard Law.

Again, despite the clear warning, and complaints of sexual misconduct against him, Urrutigoity was allowed to continue living and working in the Diocese of Scranton. Two years later, he was being accused of sexual misconduct again, this time in court.

In a 2002 lawsuit against Urrutigoity, and another priest Eric Ensey and the Diocese of Scranton, the two priests were accused of a pattern of sexual misconduct. Urrutigoity was accused of giving alcohol and cigars to teenagers, sharing beds and sleeping bags with seminarians and inappropriately touching at least two young men. The alleged acts were cloaked in a bizarre dogma upon which Urrutigoity and Ensey had founded their society.

One former member of the Society of St. John said in a deposition that he slept in the same bed as Urrutigoity after the priest said it would help him overcome his “puritanical attitude.” After a few months of their sharing a bed, the seminarian woke one night to find the priest’s hand first on his abdomen, then on his penis.

In a deposition for the lawsuit, a former seminarian in Minnesota said Urrutigoity asked him to insert anal suppositories in front of him. When he refused, the young man said in a deposition, Urrutigoity was furious, calling the act a betrayal. Urrutigoity at least twice invited him to sleep in the same bed, the man said in the deposition. One night, he woke up to find Urrutigoity was molesting him, the seminarian said.

The Diocese of Scranton settled the lawsuit in 2004 for more than $400,000. It also sent Urrutigoity and Ensey to The Southdown Institute, an organization in Canada, for a detailed psychological evaluation.Instead he should have been defrocked and turned over to the police for prosecution.

Following that evaluation, the Diocese of Scranton’s Independent Review Board made its recommendation, which was noted in the confidential minutes of the board meeting:

“In view of the credible allegation from the seminarian, his admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men, and the troubling evaluation by the Southdown Institute, Father Carlos Urrutigoity should be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he should be asked to live privately.”

A criminal investigation launched by the Lackawanna County district attorney was stymied by a lack of cooperation from St. Gregory’s and Pennsylvania’s short statute of limitations on sex crimes, said Tom Dubas, the lead investigator on the case. Dubas wanted to launch a grand jury investigation, but never had the chance.

“As soon as it got out that I was interested in a grand jury, both priests just disappeared,” Dubas said. “We never did convene one.”
Then, in 2008, Urrutigoity began making headlines again, this time in far eastern Paraguay in the den of iniquity known as the Tri-Border Area.

In 2008, Javier Miranda, a Ciudad del Este resident who was once an active volunteer at local churches, learned of a recent influx of international priests. He decided to research the newcomers.

It didn’t take Miranda long to unearth the scandals that had followed Urrutigoity. Immediately, he protested against the priest’s presence in the diocese, and was soon joined by dozens more local volunteers and even a group of 12 local priests, who in 2009 signed a letter denouncing Urrutigoity as a divisive figure.

The bishop of Ciudad del Este, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, responded with a spirited defense of Urrutigoity, The priest had been slandered and persecuted, Livieres said. Miranda and other critics should join with the church in praying for a peaceful end to the controversy, he wrote on the diocese’s website.Miranda said far from being welcomed, he and the other vocal critics were ostracized by the church. Undeterred, Livieres continued to support Urrutigoity, not only was Urrutigoity active in the Catholic church in Paraguay, but he had been promoted to the position of vicar general, essentially the second most powerful post in the diocese of Ciudad del Este.

This rapist priest is still protected by the church. There are dozens and dozens more just like him, still protected and defended by those of the Roman Catholic Church.

This priest and all the others, including Cardinals like Bernard Law, whom is still protected by the Vatican, should be immediately fired, defrocked and prosecuted.

3. The church must stop hiding behind the statue of limitations they use against victims to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and paying for their crimes against us and make things right with the victims. Anything less would be pure hypocrisy.

They MUST keep their words and promises to us they signed onto with their Pledge to Protect and Promise to Heal charters with the Attorney Generals of each state.

The disgusting attacks against the priest rape victims MUST END. No more telling us because we did not punch our priests, we were responsible for our own rapes, or that we wanted to be raped and we enjoyed it and we are homosexuals because of it. No more blame games being put upon the victims of these evil crimes.

This is NOT a homosexual problem, this is a pedophile, hebephile and ephebophile problem. This is not just a sin, this is a crime, a FELONY crime and should be looked upon as such and these people whom have committed these crimes should be prosecuted. Just because they are the religious leaders of your church that does NOT give you the right to avoid prosecution for crimes you have committed, especially ones of rape, abuse and torture of children and teens. No more telling us priest rape survivors that we must forgive but must NEVER seek prosecution because that is Anti-Catholic and bigoted of us. Yes this problem exists in other denominations and other sections of the population. We find all of these crimes evil, disgusting and anyone whom rapes a child or covers it up should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and this means EVERYONE whom commits these crimes, whether they be a Roman Catholic or anyone else. Just because you wear a religious robe should NOT give you an out from being prosecuted for your crimes. If anything, they should be prosecuted with that much more vigor because these people portray themselves to be the moral leaders, the spiritual leaders, the head of the church. Jesus Christ would condemn them, so why should not we? Jesus Christ would say they should be prosecuted…for did he not say render unto God that which is Gods and render unto Man that which is Man’s? That means not only are we supposed to follow Gods laws, but mans laws to. Raping children and covering up these crimes are not only contrary to Gods laws, but man’s laws too.

In conclusion…if Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church wishes for us survivors of these evil, disgusting crimes against us, then they must first truly repent. This means doing all that I have described. If we were to forgive this, right now, without true repentance shown on your part Pope Francis then that would make us hypocrites.

For even Jesus Christ said…to be forgiven of your sins. you must first truly repent of your sins.

Priest Accused of Abuse in U.S. Rises Again in Paraguay


Priest Accused of Abuse in U.S. Rises Again in Paraguay

From the link: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/priest-accused-abuse-u-s-rises-again-paraguay-n121231%5B/embed%5D

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay — A hush falls across the church, broken only by the rhythmic swish of the censer as it bestows acrid incense across the faces of the congregation.

A gaggle of monks in brown habits, their heads tonsured in repentant horseshoes, rises and begins to chant. They are joined by seminarians — priests in training — in floor-length, black soutanes, and Latin liturgy pulses over the pews. The words rise to a massive floor-to-ceiling mural that casts dozens of saintly eyes across the room.

A noise behind the congregation. A door opening. He is here.

Father Carlos Urrutigoity glides into the sanctuary, his ivory and scarlet robes swishing between the pews. Revered by his flock in the unruly diocese of eastern Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, the priest will deliver his sermon to hundreds of worshippers. They will later clamor outside the church to meet the man, to receive his benediction.

This is a man who’s been described by bishops from Switzerland to Pennsylvania as “dangerous,” “abnormal,” and “a serious threat to young people.”

He has spent two decades flitting from diocese to diocese, always one step ahead of church and legal authorities, before landing in this lawless, remote corner of South America. Here, in the pirate-laden jungle near the Iguacu falls, he has risen to a position of power.

Today, despite warnings from the bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where in 2002 Urrutigoity was accused of molesting a teenage boy and sleeping with and touching other young men, this priest leads a starry-eyed cadre of young male seminarians. Despite once being accused of running what a fellow priest called a “homosexual cult” in the hills of Pennsylvania, Urrutigoity now graces the diocese website here, advertising seminars for budding young Catholics.

Urrutigoity’s voyage from his native Argentina to Pennsylvania and back to South America represents a new chapter in the shocking story of abuse in the Catholic Church.

It illustrates the church’s seeming inability to prevent a priest accused of illegal acts in the United States from fleeing to a remote developing country — even one on the doorstep of Pope Francis’ homeland — and remaking himself into a powerful religious leader.

Urrutigoity, who denies ever molesting anyone, says he’s been the victim of a smear campaign. But to those devoted to uncovering church misdeeds, the Argentine’s sustained protection by the Catholic establishment is emblematic of an ethos of cover-ups and gross negligence that continues to place young people at risk.

“Five, 10, 15 years ago, they would move these guys from the southwest corner of the diocese to the northeast corner of the diocese,” said David Clohessy, director of the St. Louis-based Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP. “Nowadays, with victims being more organized and the internet, those kinds of moves are more and more risky, so sending someone abroad is a much safer way to keep them on the job.”

Trouble will find me

Trouble has followed Urrutigoity across the globe.

The first notable account of his alleged transgressions is a 1999 letter from Bernard Fellay, spiritual leader of the traditionalist Catholic society of Saint Pius X, based in Switzerland.

Urrutigoity first served at that organization’s seminary in La Reja, Argentina, where Urrugoity was studying. In a letter to then-Bishop of Scranton William Timlin, Fellay warned about what he described as the Argentine priest’s “homosexual behavior,” stating that Urrugoity was asked to leave La Reja and was given a “second chance” at the society’s seminary in Winona, Minnesota.

While in Minnesota, Urrutigoity was accused of approaching a young seminarian’s bed “for obvious dishonest acts,” the letter states. While the seminarian pretended to be sleeping, according to the letter, Urrutigoity touched him sexually.

“Our conclusion is that there is a dangerous pattern in Fr. Urrutigoity and we feel obliged to reveal this to you,” the letter states.

Despite the clear warning, Urrutigoity was allowed to continue living and working in the Diocese of Scranton. Two years later, he was being accused of sexual misconduct again, this time in court.

Cigars, wine and shared sleeping bags

In Pennsylvania, the accusations against Urrutigoity grew more extreme.

He had teamed up with another charismatic Catholic priest, Eric Ensey. With other like-minded leaders, they founded an ultraconservative religious group called the Society of St. John.

In the late 1990s, the Society of St. John found a home in an unused wing of a Catholic boy’s school, St. Gregory’s Academy. That’s when the trouble really started.

In a 2002 lawsuit against Urrutigoity, Ensey and the Diocese of Scranton, the two priests were accused of a pattern of sexual misconduct.

Urrutigoity was accused of giving alcohol and cigars to teenagers, sharing beds and sleeping bags with seminarians and inappropriately touching at least two young men.

The alleged acts were cloaked in a bizarre dogma upon which Urrutigoity and Ensey had founded their society.

Young men were encouraged to form devoted relationships with their spiritual advisers, court records show. Documents from the lawsuit, brought by a victim identified only as “John Doe,” show the seminarians revered Urrutigoity, who became a father figure, guide and close friend.

But that friendship had a dark side, the documents show.

One former member of the Society of St. John said in a deposition that he slept in the same bed as Urrutigoity after the priest said it would help him overcome his “puritanical attitude.” After a few months of their sharing a bed, the seminarian woke one night to find the priest’s hand first on his abdomen, then on his penis.

The case stirred up further accusations from Urrutigoity’s time in Winona, as well.

In a deposition for the lawsuit, a former seminarian in Minnesota said Urrutigoity asked him to insert anal suppositories in front of him. When he refused, the young man said in a deposition, Urrutigoity was furious, calling the act a betrayal.

Urrutigoity at least twice invited him to sleep in the same bed, the man said in the deposition. One night, he woke up to find Urrutigoity was molesting him, the seminarian said.

His first instinct was to “rip his head off.”

“I thought about it, and I might have been OK to do it, but my dad told me once a guy hit a priest and his arm was frozen forever,” the former seminarian said in the deposition.

The young man instead settled for breaking ties completely with the man he’d once considered a hero. He left the seminary soon afterward.

The Diocese of Scranton settled the lawsuit in 2004 for more than $400,000. It also sent Urrutigoity and Ensey to The Southdown Institute, an organization in Canada, for a detailed psychological evaluation.

Following that evaluation, the Diocese of Scranton’s Independent Review Board made its recommendation, which was noted in the confidential minutes of the board meeting:

“In view of the credible allegation from the seminarian, his admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men, and the troubling evaluation by the Southdown Institute, Father Carlos Urrutigoity should be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he should be asked to live privately.”

Disappearing and reappearing

The 2002 lawsuit caused uproar in Pennsylvania.

A former member of the Society of St. John took to the internet, campaigning virulently against the conservative sect and calling Urrutigoity “Rasputin in a Roman collar.” Bishop Timlin came under increasing pressure as media attention grew.

Timlin told a deposition that he had done all he could to investigate the claims against Urrutigoity, even sending a diocese lawyer to interview the priest. After the lawsuit was filed, Timlin suspended Urrutigoity and Ensey, barring them from practicing or having contact with children.

A criminal investigation launched by the Lackawanna County district attorney was stymied by a lack of cooperation from St. Gregory’s and Pennsylvania’s short statute of limitations on sex crimes, said Tom Dubas, the lead investigator on the case. Dubas wanted to launch a grand jury investigation, but never had the chance.

“As soon as it got out that I was interested in a grand jury, both priests just disappeared,” Dubas said. “We never did convene one.”

Then, in 2008, Urrutigoity began making headlines again, this time in far eastern Paraguay in the den of iniquity known as the Tri-Border Area.

‘A refuge for delinquents’

The Tri-Border Area, at the junction of the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, is a hub for everything from drug smuggling to arms dealing to human trafficking.

The city of Ciudad del Este is the region’s ramshackle capital — a maze of crumbling shopping malls and covered markets, bustling with Brazilians hauling duffel bags full of phony goods across the border.

 But for some residents of this chaotic city, things went too far when trouble entered the hallowed grounds of Ciudad del Este’s Catholic churches.

In 2008, Javier Miranda, a Ciudad del Este resident who was once an active volunteer at local churches, learned of a recent influx of international priests. He decided to research the newcomers.

It didn’t take Miranda long to unearth the scandals that had followed Urrutigoity. Immediately, he protested against the priest’s presence in the diocese, and was soon joined by dozens more local volunteers and even a group of 12 local priests, who in 2009 signed a letter denouncing Urrutigoity as a divisive figure.

The bishop of Ciudad del Este, Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, responded with a spirited defense of Urrutigoity. The priest had been slandered and persecuted, Livieres said. Miranda and other critics should join with the church in praying for a peaceful end to the controversy, he wrote on the diocese’s website.

Miranda says that far from being welcomed, he and the other vocal critics were ostracized by the church. He also accused Livieres of harboring several other troubled priests.

“For us, the Diocese of Ciudad del Este has become a refuge of delinquents,” Miranda said.

 Undeterred, Livieres continued to support Urrutigoity. Last year, he promoted the Argentine to second in command.

That really upset the folks back in Scranton.

‘A serious threat to young people’

In March, the nonprofit group BishopAccountability.org, which specializes in tracking problem priests, announced on its website that not only was Urrutigoity active in the Catholic church in Paraguay, but he had been promoted to the position of vicar general, essentially the second most powerful post in the diocese of Ciudad del Este.

The new bishop of Scranton rushed to defend his diocese and distance it from Urrutigoity.

In a March 15 statement on the diocese website, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera wrote that the diocese had previously “reported its serious concerns about this cleric to appropriate church officials.”

“In every instance, Bishop Martino clearly expressed his reservations concerning Father Urrutigoity, who was identified as posing a serious threat to young people,” Bambera wrote.

Shortly afterward, Bambera announced he was taking his concerns to the Vatican. A diocese spokesman confirmed the bishop has contacted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a sort of internal affairs for the Catholic Church, about Urrutigoity.

GlobalPost’s email to the Vatican press office requesting comment has not received a response.

More from GlobalPost: Pope Francis makes boldest comments yet on sex abuse crisis

Last week, Pope Francis announced he will meet with eight sexual abuse victims, several from Europe, at the Vatican as part of the church’s “zero tolerance” policy. Sexual abuse scandals around the world have dogged the church in the past two decades.

Clohessy, the director of SNAP, said a lack of action on Urrutigoity at this point would be reprehensible.

“The real issue is the continuing refusal — not failure, refusal — of the church hierarchy to take even the most minimal steps to safeguard kids,” Clohessy said.

‘Hysteria’

Outside the church in Ciudad del Este, the normally balmy tropical air has taken on a slight chill. A mist has risen off the nearby river and envelops the faithful as they form a ring around Urrutigoity, waiting to receive his benediction.

Last in line is this GlobalPost reporter. Hearing a question in English, Urrutigoity blinks, then quickly regains his composure. He has an urgent meeting with another priest, he says, but he can answer a couple of questions.

The Argentine priest says he has been the victim of a decades-long smear campaign. Look closely at the people accusing him, he says, and you’ll see the real motives behind the attempts to limit his influence.

“There’s a whole hysteria,” he says. “I think [Bishop Bambera in Scranton] is covering, legally, the bases, so nobody can accuse them and then sue them for millions of dollars.”

In his work, is he in contact with young people? With children? Does he teach? Urrutigoity is asked.

“No, no! Mostly it’s desk work,” the priest insists.

But Urrutigoity’s daily work involves a lot more than sitting in an office.

 A January announcement on the diocese’s website named Urrutigoity as one of the key teachers for a course for young people on Catholic culture.

An interview with one of the seminarians at the church where Urrutigoity spoke earlier this month revealed the priest is certainly in the minds and hearts of the more than 40 young men who live in dormitories there.

“Father Urrutigoity is a true superior for us. We view him as a father,” said 20-year-old Mariano Juarez, who spoke in glowing terms about his appointed leader. “In spiritual guidance, which is the most important, in spiritual direction, counseling in difficult times, he helps us with everything.”